Mike Scioscia didn’t single out those starters by name, but the Angels’ manager did rule out his projected five starters from pitching in games for at least another week. The Angels open Cactus League play with split-squad games Saturday against the Cubs and Giants.
“The guys that we’re looking at, especially Weave [Jered Weaver], he doesn’t need to get started until somewhere around the first” of March, Scioscia said. “It would just be too long for him. He wouldn’t need it.”
“There are guys who are going to pitch who have a chance to be in our rotation,” Scioscia said, “but the extra turn or two isn’t going to make that much a difference because if it comes down to the end (of spring training) and they’re going to flip to the ‘pen or somewhere else, they’ll be ready to go. We don’t want those guys firing up too early.”
On March 1, the Angels are scheduled to play a split-squad game against the Dodgers at Tempe Diablo Stadium. By then, the Dodgers’ projected starters (including Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke) will have pitched at least one inning.
The Angels will have played seven games by then. Who fills out the nine innings on the mound are anyone’s guess. Buckner, Schugel, Mills, Barry Enright, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams are the starters in camp who wouldn’t be in the Angels rotation if the season started today.
It’s a downer for fans who are coming to Tempe to see the Angels’ best pitchers, but an understandable position for Scioscia. Spring games don’t usually begin this early — the World Baseball Classic moves the schedule up about week — and overuse becomes one of teams’ primary concerns.
Still, if other managers can give their five starters an inning here or there during the first week, why can’t Scioscia?